Connecticut High School Football

High School Football news, analysis, commentary and features from the reporters of the Hearst Connecticut Media Group.

Relax, sit back and read up on your state championship matchups



NFA fans delight in their 30-28 semifinal victory over Staples on Super Sunday. (Sean Patrick Bowley)

The running joke at the state playoff luncheon, at least from your intrepid reporter’s perspective, was Fairfield County’s complete and utter lack of a representative (Bunnell’s Dave Johnson showed up. That might have been it?) and the sudden lack of coverage from Team Hearst.

Save for perennial champion Ansonia.

Ha ha, yeah, yeah, guys, Ansonia’s our “favorite” team now. No, we weren’t crying when Masuk, Staples and New Canaan failed to make the cut. Hardy har har. Good one, though.

With the winter season bearing down on us, having one team in the final allows the home office to start gearing for basketball season. We’ve suddenly become significantly more casual observers on the state football scene rather than active ones.

When was the last time we had just one state finalist in the Connecticut Post region? Let’s try NEVER. So this is new territory. Shangri La has been appropriately humbled and we’re suddenly not so busy as usual.

But there are some talented writers and broadcasters around our fair state. And, seeing that this is mostly a central, southern, eastern Connecticut affair, they’re entirely more invested into these state finals than we are, unfortunately.

We’ll be at all the state championship games, of course. We still have Ansonia to cover and we’ll be chronicling Saturday’s Class S final between the Chargers and the high-flying T-Birds of North Branford. Good stories there.

We’ll be paying close attention to and chronicling the rest of the proceedings, too. Videos will be made. Previews written. We know many of our readers here do not merely reside in Fairfield County, so we press onward.

But for the first time in a long time, we’re going to sit back and digest the chronicles of others. We’re scouring newspaper websites and TV channels to get you everything. So here we go:

And from the TV Folks


(See if you can catch the error in this one.)

VIDEO DELETED. (You know what, Hartford Courant/ FOXCT / Tribune, if you can’t disable AutoPlay on your dumb videos, then don’t expect them to be distributed.

Categories: State Playoffs
Sean Patrick Bowley

20 Responses

  1. R-MAC says:

    I was at the class LL on Sunday with Staples and NFA. I never thought Staples was gonna get past Xavier in the finals and I don’t see NFA beating them either on Friday. The X-Men and NFA will be a better game than if it was Staples but the outcome will be the same with Xavier taking the LL. Daniel Hand and Windsor will get ugly with the Tigers winning by 14 or more. Berlin will get blownout by Hillhouse because speed kills. Ansonia and North Branford will be closer than most Charger fans think , but I don’t see North Branford beating them for the class S. So there you have it, LL / Xavier, L / Daniel Hand , M / Hillhouse , S / Ansonia. Those are the teams that I had chosen to win it all , way back in week 4. Same old same old !

  2. Remmy says:

    Good stuff, SPB. Maybe I’ll put the video camera down and let you do all the work this week.

  3. @REMMY – C’mon now. Different perspectives.

  4. PapaDags says:

    Don’t see how it’s POSSIBLE for any game to be better than staples-NFA..that was one for the books guys….on the edge of your seat throughout, you kiddin me??? couldn’t care less who won, but as a football fanatic that was a GAME….(although I was rooting for NFA as I will this week..) Xavier has their hands full this week….Let’s also not forget how Hillhouse had Xavier the whole game until the 4th Qtr collapse….Had em by 28!!!! Yea, Yea, I Know already what you’ll say, great teams can overcome adversity and shine when the gun is put their head…and I agree…But has X ever even been down by that many before? I have to believe NFA can match Hillhouse therefore can match X…..Ansonia will not win by 40, only 21-28 pt margin of victory…Put that in the bank, as I already have…laying only 14, easiest bet I made all year

  5. ciacfollower says:

    @Papa #4 – How ’bout looki’n at that from the other angle ? How does Hillhouse lose with a 4 TD lead in the 4th qtr ?! I dont think the “‘House” is consistent enough and they will be revealed (for the 3rd time this yr) to be a team with key flaws come this Sat…Speed isn’t the only thing (R-MAC).

  6. ciacfollower says:

    Oh that’s right, this is the glittery, south west portion of CT. And Xavier cant’t lose ’cause they spanked the almighty GHS a few weeks ago, even though they have a glaring “1” in the right hand column (of their record).
    And Ansonia ? They can’t lose ’cause they’re in the “Elite” 8.
    …Silly Me !

  7. ciacfollower says:

    Once again here, the only genuine upset I’m predicting is ‘Birds over Chargers :


  8. another fan says:

    @1. Ansonia football and it’s fans know all too well about the High Flying T-Birds.

  9. Fred says:

    SPB – The error in the FOX Sports video clip you posted is that they said in 2001 North Branford lost to a Bloomfield team that had Dwight Freeney & Andrew Pinnock. The 2001 Bloomfield team had Matt Lawrence. The 1997 Bloomfield team had Freeney & Pinnock and they also played North Branford in the playoffs that year.

  10. kris1 says:

    @8 Ansonia is 2-1 against North Branford

    2001 – (1) North Branford beat (4) Ansonia, 21-20
    2006 – (1) Ansonia beat (4) North Branford, 47-14
    2008 – (2) Ansonia beat (3) North Branford, 28-0

    The 2001 Ansonia team was a sophomore-laden team led by Kenny Tinney. That seem team went on to win back-to-back titles in 2002, 2003 when current Ansonia Head Coach, Tom Brockett took over as offensive coordinator.

  11. R-MAC says:

    @papa dogs > I agree the class LL last Sunday was one of the most entertaining games that I’ve been to in some time. I was on the NFA side myself and they are well coached and looked great overall as a team. Would love to see the upset this Friday, its time for a change. I would welcome upsets in all the games this weekend. I don’t get chance to see Windsor too often, but if they can stop Hands offensive machine or at least match them score for score and not let it get away from them like Masuk did, it could be interesting. Hillhouse is in my opinion an offensive powerhouse with great kickoff return potential. Berlin is a good solid team and well coached. They have some good size up front on thier lines and a strong pass rush. Hillhouse has too many weapons and will exploit them to the max. Too much speed on the outsides to keep up with all game. Ansonia and North Branford is the one game I have the most intrest in seeing, being the early 10:30 game and because of the Chargers ongoing winning streak. I know how good Ansonia is but just how good North Branford can be in a big game like this is the big question. Looking forward to all the action this weekend and seeing some upsets.

  12. ciacfollower says:

    @R-MAC – How can you say Masuk “let it get away from them” ? They never, not even for 1min of the game, had control of it.

  13. jeb says:

    After watching the Staples vs. NFA game and the New Canaan vs. Windsor games last night on the MSG network it became very clear to me that New Canaan does NOT have the athletes or the athletic ability of the other three teams. How do they do it?

  14. mr fciac says:

    jeb you no your football NC just out coaches teams and the kids buy in

  15. Dave Lib says:

    We both know why…..Lou Marinelli. He gets every ounce out of those kids.

  16. Gibby says:

    Ok, I must have hit the rewind button about 1000 times last night on the NFA punt that “hit” a Staples player and my observation is that the ball changed direction after it hit #65 on NFA and even with that said, it never looked like it actually hit #42 on Staples. He was being pushed towards the football but it came to rest by his foot. Another blown call was the personal foul call on Zelkowitz that led to the botched snap. He was tossed to the ground on that play but was the first to get up so it appeared he did the tossing. Without that play Staples is not punting and certainly not inside of their own 20. I’m not even going into the pass over the line of scrimmage which was pretty obvious too.
    In “Ref School” I’m sure you are taught to NOT decide the outcome of a game with calls of that magnitude where you don’t have clear evidence. Like in baseball…a tie goes to the runner because one needs to err on the side of caution and not play GOD will calls like that. Not that anything can ever change the outcome but these Ref’s should get an “F” and never work a big game again!

  17. @Gibby – I slowed it down too on my FinalCut. Went Frame-by-frame. The ball went right through 65’s legs despite his best efforts to get it. Inconclusive on whether it hit Kearney… But the way it bounces makes me believe it did.

  18. gur says:

    @Gibby give it up gotta let go. as i predicted, NFA beat less than two touchdowns however, so i was off there.
    but anyway, all your excuses and ref blaming is silly. Take the Loss and gear up for next year. Maybe next year Staples wont be so over-rated

  19. Gibby says:

    So you go slow-mo frame by frame and I rewind a 1000 times and we are still not 100% sure. That is when a call should err on the side of normalcy or at least the crew comes together to discuss before one ref takes the game into his own hands and immediately makes the call. Even if the call went Staples way they still have to score so it is not as if a dead ball call sealed the deal for Staples. It did seal the deal for NFA.